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Great American Smokeout Nov. 15

November 6, 2012

Quitting smoking is difficult, but what if you just started with quitting for one day?

If you are looking to quit smoking, or any other form of tobacco use, consider participating in the American Cancer Society’s 37th annual Great American Smokeout. This year’s event, set for Nov. 15, emphasizes the dangers of tobacco use and challenges users to quit for good. 

Take the first step

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. In Colorado alone, approximately 4,300 die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. The good news is that 85 percent of smokers in Colorado have indicated that they want to quit. However, only about 3 percent of Coloradans have quit successfully on their own with little or no outside support. By choosing to quit for the day on Nov. 15, you can take the first step. 

 “The Great American Smokeout is a good time for college students to not only quit tobacco for a day but to raise awareness about the resources they have access to,” says Gwen Sieving, a health educator at CSU Health Network. “Resources like cessation counseling offered by the CSU Health Network can lead to a well-thought out plan which will increase their chances to quit for good.”

Hookah use increasing among students

The CSU Health Network also recognizes the increasing use of hookah among college students and its potential risks at this year’s Great American Smokeout. Hookah is commonly perceived as a safe alternative for cigarettes, but recent studies done by organizations such as the World Health Organization and the American Lung Association have shown otherwise.

Increase your success of quitting

Thinking about quitting tobacco? Increase your chance of success by utilizing help and support. If you don’t know how to get started, experiment with the following tools to get started:

Make a plan: List your triggers and how to deal with each one. For instance, if breaks at work are a time when you are likely to smoke, think of other things you could do for a break like enjoying a couple pages of a book, trying flavored toothpicks or talking with someone on the phone.  

Practice, practice, practice: After you have a plan, try it out and see how it works. Delay your urge for tobacco by 10-15 minutes and try out your plan. Make appropriate adjustments based on these experiences. Remember to take one craving at a time.

Manage your physical cravings: Consider using the nicotine patch (over the counter) or getting a prescription from your health care provider. Medications such as Bupropion (Zyban) or Varenicline (Chantix) can help tremendously with physical cravings and nicotine withdrawal.

Use your resources: Research clearly states that receiving professional support can greatly increase your chances of staying tobacco free. CSU students can call the CSU Health Network at (970) 491-7121 for a free tobacco informational session or call the Colorado Quitline at (800) QuitNow (784-8669).

For more information about tobacco cessation services offered by the CSU Health Network, visit the CSU Health Network Health Education and Prevention Services page. Click the Tobacco Cessation tab.